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Redefine the term "rehabilitation" in context of prison

The way I understand it, prisons are established for three reasons. 1. Deterrance: fear of getting caught keeps people from committing crime. 2) segregation: Keep people who have harmed others from doing it again. 3) Rehabilitation: the idea that the criminal will change in some way so to not break the law again.

I think the idea of deterrance is good. I also believe deparating criminals is a good idea, but ONLY if they endanger others. I do not believe the current prison system is concerned with rehabilitation. The term needs to be dropped, redefined, or removed. If anything, the prison does worse than rehabilitate.

Thoughts?

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  • Feb 20 2014: The problem with all these ideas is that to change someone (which is what rehabilitation is), the person really, really, really has to want to be changed... and even then is likely to fail to change their habits.

    How do we make people want to change?

    What do you do with people that fall back into old, destructive habits?
    • Feb 20 2014: Darrell,

      I was going to state how what you said be at the core of the issue, and how it's even useful within dialogues where individuals choose to hold embrace cultivate certain ideas and how in exploring/resolving the issue of me thinks x---, you thinks y----, and moving to think about z--- (using angles radiuses rather than orthogonal 'moves' ) seemed reasonable .... until I realized an alternative, that has to do with disregarding wants and focusing on doing what ought to be done... learning and enjoying it

      You ask : How do we make people want to change?
      Simple answer : We invite them to ... enjoy ... suffer ... do what ought to be done. In other words they will learn and do what ought to be done one way or another sooner or latter willingly or not.

      You ask : What do you do with people that fall back into old, destructive habits?
      Simple answer: encapsulate them within a protective shield to keep them from harming others, stuff, themselves.

      I realize that my first paragraph is highly condensed and codified, if need be will help anyone interested in decoding it and understanding what I meant to convey by it. For the record, I think that to change, an individual just hast to change.In fact its bound to happen sooner or latter with or without the willing consent of the rider; for the ride process will take place "the rite of passage" will happen --- might as well have the proper attitude and move forward rather than backwards... of course it helps to move forward if one holds the appropriate habits, skills disposition and does what ought to be done, as it ought to be done, when it ought to be done..

      Know how to do it
      want to do it
      be able to do it
      accomplis the deed
      savor the ramifications (or suffer the consequences)

      Thank's your words and inquires made me thing of somethings and wonder about it...
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      Feb 20 2014: You are absolutely right Darrell...for someone to change, s/he really, really, really has to WANT to change, and if s/he really wants to change it might be more successful.

      We CANNOT change people, and we CANNOT make people want to change. We can offer some ideas (tools) which might facilitate change.

      Offer something different in a way that might entice them to want to learn more about it. In the cognitive self change sessions I co-facilitated, we stressed the idea of choices. People who repeat the same patterns over and over again causing challenges for themselves, have usually forgotten that they have choices regarding their behaviors. We usually started the sessions by talking about choices. As children, many of them did not have choices, so they repeated learned behaviors. As intelligent adults, they DO have choices.
      • Feb 20 2014: Colleen,

        As children, EACH of them had choices; they just didn't know all of the actual choices they had!
        As adults, each one does has choices; some which are known, and some which are unknown.

        Its true that if s/he really, really, really WANTS to change, a change might be more successful... of course its also true that some changes will happen wether one wants them or not... at most one can choose and influence a bit how the changes moves.
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          Feb 20 2014: Esteban....many of them did not have choices. When someone forces a child into being used sexually, OR get beat up, that is not a valid choice. Awareness and information sometimes helps people make choices which they themselves are in control of.
      • Feb 21 2014: Colleen,

        Even when forced into some situations each has choices regarding what to think/say/do ... Please note the empowering fundamental notion behind this statement... Also please realize that this seeks to short-circuit the blame game... I realize that many 'victims' get entangled in the blame game... rather than reporting factual objective observations, considering the options, and taking action.

        In other words recognize what happened (or what be happening) and move on to effectively deal with it.

        Again they did have choices and Awareness with information about the possibilities they had could had facilitated making different choices for themselves ... lets recognize what happened and move on to effectively deal with it.

        Yea some things are within our control and some things are outside of our control...
        Like the serenity prayer
        "serenity to accept the things we cannot change,
        Courage to change the things we can,
        And wisdom to know the difference."
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          Feb 21 2014: Esteban,
          My comment is..."As children, many of them did not have choices, so they repeated learned behaviors. As intelligent adults, they DO have choices."

          Very young children do not have the mental stability or knowledge to make informed choices. A 2 year old who is being sexually molested by male relatives, including his father has very few emotional or physical resources to be able to make different choices. It might help to familiarize yourself with some of the stories of those incarcerated, so you can speak about the situation with more knowledge.
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        Feb 21 2014: Colleen, I agree. When somebody wants to change it's a a moral obligation of the society in which he lives, provide him/her with the best tools, the best means to achieve this.
        A society does not benefit itself disregarding the person who really wants to improve, in the first place, because it's not moral disregards their need for real support, and secondly because if the person who wants to integrate can't do so by lack of means, society will again suffer the consequences of their conduct.
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          Feb 21 2014: True Sean,
          If we want to change the incidents of crime in our societies, it is helpful to be engaged with the process.

          I think many people assume that incarceration is taking care of the problem, when that is not the case! It is not in any way solving the underlying issues with individuals or society.
        • Feb 21 2014: Sean,

          As you sort of stated
          it is in the best interests of the society and the individual to procure and provide the best tools, the best means to achieve positive changes for everyone.

          regarding the person who really wants to improve, AND the one who doesn't
          each will 'benefit' from the consequences of individual conducts thus it is in one's own benefit to benefit others and help them to do the same... disregarding if some want the help or not and also disregarding if some want to help or not... it's a a moral obligation and even a selfish act to help each to be helpful . As Colleen stated "it is helpful to be engaged with the process... taking care of ... the underlying issues with individuals or society". Now days someone business ... is everyones business.
      • Feb 21 2014: Colleen,

        If you want to profess and insist that story-line rather than an alternate story-line so be it...
        as I see it you are basically stating:
        - an individual does not have the mental stability or knowledge to make informed choices
        . then an individual does have have the mental stability or knowledge

        the alternative story-line I am putting forth
        - Even when forced into some situations each has choices

        Of course that alternative story-line may just be a delusional notion because in reality individuals have no choice in the matter, some just think that they do have a choice and some just think that they do not have a choice...

        Basically individuals either have a choice or don't :
        1- having a choice, thinking one has a choice and choosing the better ways leads to the optimal state
        2- having a choice, thinking one has no choice leads to suboptimal state
        3- having no choice... well that says it ... a choice-less state

        IN the case that 'one has no choice ' I am not sure which is better --- recognizing what be or thinking one has a choice --- ultimately in this case it matters not; for in such a case one has no choice in the matters.

        Thinking one has choice, can be because one has no choice or because one does
        either way one proceeds as if one has a choice ...

        Personally I prefer to assume that everyone has a choice, though I do recognize the possibility/reality that some proceed under the influence of 'stuff that strips away any choices ... resulting in choice-less states'. Personally I prefer to assume that everyone has a choice even in the choice-less states because thinking one has a choice and choosing the better ways may leads to the optimal state.

        Just imagine the tragic humorous irony imprisoned by their beliefs, thoughts, ideas of being imprisoned... individuals could choose a better option they just choose not to choose it, while thinking that's better ...

        That's one of the reasons I state: chose what ought to be chosen.
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          Feb 21 2014: Esteban,
          My statement is clear...here AGAIN is my comment....
          "As children, many of them did not have choices, so they repeated learned behaviors. As intelligent adults, they DO have choices."

          "Very young children do not have the mental stability or knowledge to make informed choices. A 2 year old who is being sexually molested by male relatives, including his father has very few emotional or physical resources to be able to make different choices. It might help to familiarize yourself with some of the stories of those incarcerated, so you can speak about the situation with more knowledge."

          THERE IS NOTHING HUMOROUS ABOUT THEIR STORIES ESTEBAN!
      • Feb 21 2014: Colleen,

        You apparently taken the statement "Just imagine the tragic humorous irony imprisoned by their beliefs, thoughts, ideas of being imprisoned... individuals could choose a better option they just choose not to choose it, while thinking that's better ... " and found a particular subjective interpretation YOU deem worthy of cultivating and which evidently you projected for everyone who reads this to contemplate, think, experience... I noted how you chosen to create something and project it into words, capitalize words... I find what you have chosen to do and post to be an atrocious association that needs to be recognized for what it be.

        Yes your statement is clear and it advocates the story-line : "many of them did not have choices, so they repeated learned behaviors"... It is clear to me that you do not see how you are repeating your learned behaviors that disempower the fact individuals do have a choice. I realize that it may be the case that you do see how you are repeating your learned behavior and consciously choosing to repeat such way. It is just that I choose to prefer to think that you don't see it and thus act the way you do; for considering that you do see it and still choose to act the way you do to advocate that disempowering story-line rather than choosing to cultivate an empowering story-line seems to me quite atrocious...

        Originally I was going to agree with the notion that "HERE IS NOTHING HUMOROUS ABOUT THEIR STORIES" regardless of the fact it completely shifted the focus to a quite a different context... I was going to agree that indeed there isn't anything humorous about their stories... Then I realized that somewhere within their histories there be humorous things ... So is it a fact that there is nothing humorous to the situation or is it just that some individuals have chosen to see only certain stuff in a certain way?

        AGAIN I prefer to assume that everyone has a choice, you seem to prefer something else.

        Choice or no choice?
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          Feb 22 2014: Choice or no choice Esteban?

          I repeat...
          "As children, many of them did not have choices, so they repeated learned behaviors. As intelligent adults, they DO have choices."

          "Very young children do not have the mental stability or knowledge to make informed choices. A 2 year old who is being sexually molested by male relatives, including his father has very few emotional or physical resources to be able to make different choices. It might help to familiarize yourself with some of the stories of those incarcerated, so you can speak about the situation with more knowledge."

          Your foolish, inconsistent, contradictory comments are tiring Esteban!
      • Feb 22 2014: Colleen,

        the story-line I putting forth:
        - Even when forced into some situations each has choices
        At each moment each has choices.

        The words each 'employs' reveal what each thinks and that reflects back on what it is each chooses to cultivate... some observe their thoughts /feelings /actions reflect on where these lead consider the alternatives and decide the direction to follow.... some just keep repeating what they have learned...

        Thanks for your contributions to this conversation.
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          Feb 22 2014: I am very aware of your "story-line" Esteban.

          Little children often do not have choices, and there are many wounded children in our world, who grow up and continue the cycle of wounding others. Many of those who are incarcerated are wounded, and that is why Robin Casarjian wrote the book...."Houses of Healing"..."A Prisoner's Guide to Inner Power And Freedom". Wounded people generally do not function as well in our world.

          As adults, their is an opportunity to evaluate thoughts, feelings, actions and reactions to determine what choices they will make, which is what the Cognitive SELF Change program sessions are about.....providing the tools (ideas) that might help break the cycle.
      • Feb 22 2014: Colleen,

        I find the ideas in your first few line almost overwhelming and would prefer that you focused on actually providing positive ideas.

        Do you realize what it is you are feeding and cultivating with the notions:
        - 'they' do not have choices -
        - 'they' continue the cycle of wounding others-
        - incarcerate wound do not function as well?

        Why is it that you insists on invoking 'the negativity' rather than 'the cycle of healing others'?

        It seems to me that you want to keep the cycles you mention rather than embrace better ones. Now please focus on positive contributions. Lets make a definitive once and for all transformation that moves each and everyone towards a much better state where individuals appreciate and value positive ideas as they ought to do.

        Let's realize what it is we are feeding and cultivating with the notions/thought/feelings/actions/words/intentions we invoke :
        - 'Everyone' has choices - let each choose the better alternatives and help others do the same
        - Each can initiate, establish and maintain beneficial habilitating cycles of healing and enrichment
        - Lets confine and encapsulate what ought to be confined and encapsulated while promoting and liberating what ought to be promoted and liberated to function as well as possible and even better.

        That is insists on invoking 'the positivity' and bring about 'the cycles of healing'.

        In life there is always an opportunity to evaluate thoughts, feelings, actions and reactions to determine what choices will make better choices, as we improve ourselves, and our surroundings including others there...providing the tools (ideas) that bring about help and ensuring adequate implementation.

        Keep in mind the imagery of what it is actually desirable-sustainable-congruent with the ways of life.

        Use this opportunity now to take appropriate actions to improve...
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          Feb 22 2014: I prefer that you focus on the topic question Esteban!

          "Redefine the term "rehabilitation" in context of prison"
      • Feb 22 2014: Colleen,

        I am focusing on the topic question while I am also addressing you:
        - insists on invoking 'the positivity' and bring about 'the cycles of healing'.
        - Lets confine and encapsulate what ought to be confined and encapsulated while promoting and liberating what ought to be promoted and liberated to function as well as possible and even better.
        - Each can initiate, establish and maintain beneficial habilitating cycles of healing and enrichment
        - let each choose the better alternatives and help others do the same

        In life there is always an opportunity to evaluate thoughts, feelings, actions and reactions to determine what choices will make better choices, as we improve ourselves, and our surroundings including others there...providing the tools (ideas) that bring about help and ensuring adequate implementation.

        Keep in mind the imagery of what it is actually desirable-sustainable-congruent with the ways of life.

        Use this opportunity now to take appropriate actions to improve...
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          Feb 22 2014: Esteban,
          You are focusing on preaching to me, rather than addressing the topic question.

          I am in favor of learning, growing and evolving in every single moment of the life experience, and I do it with good, beneficial energy for myself and those I interact with. That being said, there is always room for improvement in all of us.

          I also encourage and support choice in people who are ready, willing and able to make choices for themselves. Little children often do not have the ability or opportunity to make choices for themselves.

          If you insist that children can make choices, watch this TED video, and tell me if the children featured had a choice.
          http://www.ted.com/talks/sunitha_krishnan_tedindia.html

          Many of those incarcerated, were abused and sexually assaulted as children...they did not have choices, and those are some of the underlying challenges they are dealing with.
      • Feb 22 2014: Colleen

        the underlying challenges we are dealing with here and everywhere have to do with what individuals choose to cultivate and do (and not do)... and what it takes to get changes to take place for/in/with the individuals, the circumstances, the groups, the institutions, the systems and a bunch of other locations. We each chosen to partake in this conversation seeking to address certain points and hopefully help figure out better ways which will spillover into actual specific actions through society that individuals take.

        I have chosen to propose and expose certain story-lines put here in a way that I consider individuals will find helpful and which will 'force' them to move and embrace changes in a better way.

        I see you tint and paint what you perceive I am doing... with your assessment that I am focusing on preaching.
        If we wanted we could delve deeper into the matter to see if in fact your assessment of what I be focusing accurately corresponds with your assessment ... or if the truth of be something else. Personally I have more interest in exploring more relevant matters and focusing on other topics related to this conversation...

        BTW I now that I find that resorting to such preachiness comment as a justification to dismiss out of hand without much introspection the notions expressed... I also observe how the claim "I also encourage and support choice in people..." is contradicted by the claim "they did not have choices".

        Little children do have the ability and opportunity to make choices for themselves... investigate the research... I recently saw an article about it... which said that even six months old choose the nice bunnies - I think i saw it on cnn and had the title : Do babies know right from wrong?

        Yes the children featured had choices, some choices where better than others... of course it would be much better if everyone had much better choices and even just access to only good choices...
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          Feb 22 2014: You cannot "force" individuals to change Esteban, and I do not agree with even trying that method. I understand from our very first conversation however, that is what you would like to do.

          Children often do not have choices Esteban. Yes, of course a six month old will choose a "nice bunny", as you say. Will that child choose to be raped? Can that little child do anything about it if someone chooses to rape him/her? No.

          If you actually watched that video and still believe that little children have choices, there is something missing in the information you choose to accept.
      • Feb 22 2014: Colleen

        I said 'force' within apostrophes for a reason... I realize that for individual true change to happen the individuals need to choose it ... what I would like to do is find a method where each and everyone actually chooses to embrace the better method regardless of the fact that they may want a less desirable one... in other words how do we redefine the rehabilitation process to ensure everyone there gets out of there and even serves to prevent others from getting into there...

        You insist with the story-line that 'Children often do not have choices' Why is that?
        I am sure you can find examples to justify your argument that they don't
        Can you find examples to justify the argument that they do?

        I can see how "there is something missing in the information you choose to accept" in fact I think you made that statement to me as a reflection of something you need to see and consider yourself... please followthrough and make the appropriate actions...
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          Feb 23 2014: Why do I say that children often do not have choices Esteban? Because it is true.

          Why do you want me to argue that children have choices when they often DO NOT have choices? That is ridiculous!

          Stop preaching and stick to the topic of this conversation Esteban.
      • Feb 23 2014: Colleen,

        Based on factual observations its clear to me that each and everyone has choices and possibilities regardless of the fact some (like you) claim otherwise. IF what you said was true, was true THEN you would be right in saying it was true.

        How do you reconcile the claim:
        "I also encourage and support choice in people..." given you claim "they did not have choices"... Maybe it is that you do not practice recognizing children as people...

        I also wonder how you reconcile the statement:
        "I am in favor of learning, growing and evolving in every single moment of the life experience, and I do it with good, beneficial energy for myself and those I interact with". with "That is ridiculous! Stop preaching ".

        The reason I ask is that actually a bit of an exploration related to this conversational topic. Imagine if it's so difficult for us to reach shared consensus on such a matter as "each and everyone has choices and possibilities"... even you have expressed the claim "I also encourage and support choice in people who are ready, willing and able to make choices for themselves." then how much more difficult it will be to attain such shared consensus with others... I suppose that given the factual observations... either you are not ready, are unwilling, are unable to make choices for yourself or a combination of those happens...

        Please note that I may choose to stop responding to your comments because I reached a point that I consider you will maintain unchanged your behavior.
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          Feb 23 2014: Esteban,
          Based on factual observations while volunteering in a family center, shelter for women and children, and the dept. of corrections for several years, and simply observing and exploring the life processes, with many people, it is clear that there are many possibilities for change with people who have the cognitive abilities to evaluate the situation and make informed choices.

          I am NOT "claiming otherwise" and it does you no good to continue to twist my words. You only discredit yourself.

          I have said over and over again, that little children often DO NOT have the cognitive ability and/or the freedom to make informed choices for themselves. That fact is backed up with psychological research Esteban, and if you really care about it, you can do your own exploration.

          Again.....often little children do not have the cognitive abilities or the freedom to make informed choices for themselves. Adults DO often have cognitive abilities and freedom to make informed choices for themselves. There is nothing to "reconcile" with those statements, and if you do not understand the statements, it is ok.....there is no useful purpose in twisting my words to try to justify your argument.

          While many of those incarcerated were abused and sexually assaulted as children, when they did not have choices, they DO have choices regarding their behavior as adults, and the "cognitive SELF change" sessions I co-facilitated, helped those who did not have choices as children, to learn that as adults, with exploration of "self", they DO have choices.

          You continue to twist my words and use statements out of context, Stay on topic Esteban. This conversation is NOT about analyzing me. The topic question is..."Redefine the term "rehabilitation" in context of prison". Please note....I would be grateful if you stopped harassing me with your off topic twisted comments.....that would be a gift to me...thank you.
      • Feb 23 2014: Colleen,

        Indeed " it is clear that there are many possibilities for change"
        - with people who have the cognitive abilities to evaluate the situation and make informed choices
        - with people who lack the cognitive abilities to evaluate the situation and make informed choices
        - with people who still have to acquire abilities to better handle the situation and make better choices
        - even with people who have it all.

        Based on factual observations of what you just posted... and a couple of notions...
        it does you, me and others no good to continue to discredit yourself (and others) by saying one thing and then the opposite. Yes you insist and continue to proclaim that in essence little children often DO NOT have the freedom to make choices for themselves when in fact each and everyone has such freedom (to some extent)... I put them words in parenthesis for you, to ease the acceptance of that last statement.

        I have done my own exploration and found that psychological research and other research results do validate the fact that individuals have choices. I realize that those under the influence of stuff can be impaired from following certain choices unless the impairment is resolved and they are under the influence of different stuff. Which in a way redefines the terms and abilities each holds, employs, uses, supports, practices.

        There is something to "reconcile" with those statements (you just don't see it; or see it and choose not to see it), if you actually understood the statements, and ramifications you would act differently. There is a useful purpose in twisting, dancing and interacting between us and others... I hope you come to see it...

        I too would be grateful if you stopped harassing me with your discrediting comments... I would appreciate if each and everyone would seek to appreciate and value the gifts each brings into the conversation... even if / when they don't understand it...

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